DHX names ex-Marvel chief as CEO to replace Michael Donovan

Eric Ellenbogen

Peanuts and Teletubbies owner DHX Media has named former Marvel executive Eric Ellenbogen as its CEO to replace Michael Donovan, who revealed he would be stepping down earlier this year.

Ellenbogen, who has also been named vice chair of the board of directors, has worked in the TV business for more than three decades and has held numerous senior management roles, including president of Broadway Video Entertainment.

He also headed up Golden Books Family Entertainment and was president and CEO at Marvel, prior to its acquisition by Disney. He also co-founded Classic Media in 2000, which became one of the largest private owners of branded kids’ and family entertainment.

It was acquired by DreamWorks Animation in 2012, where he became co-head of DreamWorks Classics and DreamWorks International Television.

DHX had been on the lookout for a new CEO four four months, when Donovan said he would be stepping down. He had previously headed up the company until 2014, stepping down to become executive chairman, but returned in February 2018 when Dana Landry left the Toronto-based firm.

Donovan has also stepped down as executive chair but will continue to serve on the board as founding chair. Donald Wright has also been appointed non-executive chair.

Wright said: “Eric brings fresh leadership and a clear vision to our company, as well as a 30-year track record of creating significant shareholder value in the media space.

“In the nine months since he has joined our board, while also serving as a strategic advisor, he has worked closely with our senior leadership team and gained a deep understanding of our Company.

“Given his broad perspective and decades of relevant industry experience and success, we are confident that Eric will be able to move the company forward from the get-go as CEO. We thank Michael for his many years of leadership and vision. As founder of DHX Media, Michael has played a significant role in building the company into the global entertainment force it is today. We are pleased that he will remain on the board.”

“DHX Media has an unmatched portfolio of kids’ and family content with high-profile, beloved characters, including Peanuts, Teletubbies, Strawberry Shortcake, Caillou, and Inspector Gadget,” said Ellenbogen.

“In addition to its library and leading animation studios, DHX Media has built a truly unique asset in WildBrain – one of the largest kids’ networks on YouTube – with unparalleled reach and engagement. I’m pleased to have the opportunity to work with the management team, employees and our many valued partners and customers to deliver leading content and brands for audiences worldwide.”